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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland


1 May, 2020

Fuel outlet pulls the plug on the Outback

LESSEES of the Caltex Service Stations in Tambo and Longreach, the Melbourne-based McLaren Family, have shut-up shop and literally walked away from the businesses, leaving outback towns such as Tambo scratching their heads in disbelief.

By Jaimee-Lee Prow

The shock announcement that came on April 1 would have fooled anybody on April Fool’s Day (pun intended).

According to reports, Tambo staff were none-the-wiser when they commenced their shift, only to learn that as of 3pm, the retail shop would close its doors to the public and inevitably staff would be left with no jobs.

It was just another heavy blow for Outback businesses while in the grips of Covid-19.

Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Mayor and Tambo resident, Andrew Martin, was just as gobsmacked by the news.

“What a horrid time for Tambo to be hit with such a curved-ball,” he said.

“For such a small town, the fuel station is a retail hub, employing a good wedge of locals and supplying an variety of products to the community.”

“We are not really happy about it, to say the least”, said the disgruntled Mayor.

The circumstances surrounding the decision to dissolve the lease remain unknown.

Caltex itself has tried to maintain the fuel service to the community with 24 hour electronic card payment services available. A cleaner remains on the books to regularly clean and wipe over bowsers, and COVID-19 practices are in place.

While the future of the site remains uncertain, the Mayor reassures the situation is being monitored by Council, and future prospects for the premises remain optimistic.

“As far as I am aware, Caltex is still making-up its mind as to what they are going to do with the Tambo premises, but I can also confirm there is firm interest from people within the Tambo region wanting to resume the lease,” Mayor Martin said.

The business certainly appears a lucrative investment for some, and hope remains that the retail side of the shop will kick-start in the near future.

“Tambo is a pivotal area geographically, and is perfectly situated for a 24 hour truck stop, especially with the eventual completion of the Springsure and Alpha access roads,” he added.

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